Germany’s Dresdner Bank is setting up an independent consulting company to give pensions advice to its clients. Pension and Compensation Consulting is the first independent consultant set up by a bank. Launch date is the beginning of September and it should be registered with the German authorities by the middle of the month when marketing begins.
Horst Ludwig, a former managing director of consultants Mercers has left to become the company’s first managing director, a role he will share with a Dresdner employee, as yet unnamed. Dresdner is responding to client pressure. Germany will soon we have funded pension schemes under the second and third pillar and clients have been bombarding Dresdner for advice on funded schemes and pensions restructuring.
Services offered to clients will include among others, advice on pillar I, II, and III pensions as well as restructuring. “The object is to create a strategy and solutions for Dresdner’s clients… we will be a smaller consultant without any execution. When it comes to execution we’ll work with other companies,” he says. Eventually the consultancy will create standardised products but he refuses to divulge more.
Initially, the company will service Dresdner’s clients but may take on institutionals not associated with the bank. The company intends to recruit consultants, banking and insurance experts taking total employees to 25. Ludwig is the only Mercer’s employee to join the firm but a reunion with old colleagues is not out of the question.
The move mirrors other investment managers who have begun hiring consultants. “Most of the well-known investment managers and banks are building this kind of expertise either through starting their own practice or by working closely with other consultants,” says Ludwig. Dirk Popeilas recently left Mercers to join Goldman Sachs, as did Sabina Mahnert who joined Morgan Stanley Dean Whitter. HypoVereinsbank also bought a 49% stake in consultants Wyatt Bode Grabner.